This past week I’ve been on what I call a forced vacation. My babysitter is away on vacation, so I’ve been home with the kids. This has actually been great because it’s forced me to spend time around my house getting ready for the fall and back to school. Also, we are leaving for vacation soon so it’s important that I return feeling like there is some order.
About twice a year, I like to go through my home and get rid of the items that I no longer need. Over the past two years, I’ve been clearing out my basement that currently consists of a playroom and storage area. My goal is that once we are ready to finish the basement we will really only have the items that we use/need. I thought that I did this before we moved! We had a huge garage sale and I promised myself to only bring the things that I need into this new home, but boxes of things that we really don’t use ended up finding their way to our new house. And with children, it seems like it’s a never-ending cycle of things being accumulated with more and more things finding their way to the basement.
Our lives are constantly changing as well. What I needed three years ago, may now serve no purpose. We aren’t planning on having any more children, so I no longer feel the need to keep baby items. I can’t tell you how much space we’ve gained by getting rid of all the baby stuff and it made me happy to give these items away to friends and family. I’m not too sentimental because I think that I only kept one little dress and hat that is now somewhere up in my attic (that’s where I put the stuff that I really think I need) in some unmarked box.
It’s amazing to me how much stuff I’ve accumulated over the years. And I can certainly appreciate how I felt that I needed all these items when I bought them or brought them into my home. But maybe not everything that we acquire needs to stay with us for very long. Maybe it’s ok to donate something right after you buy it if you really don’t know the next time you plan to use it again. Maybe it’s better to borrow things from friends if you only use them every so often.
This past week, I’ve spent time clearing things out. From sheet sets that we never used to sippy cups with missing parts, my focus has been parting with things that no longer serve us. It’s been a wonderful feeling and it’s also a great way to take inventory of what new stuff my family now needs, ha. At least the irony of this isn’t lost on me.
The worst feeling is when I go through my stuff and realize that I have actually bought these items again because I either forgot that I had it or I didn’t know where it was located when I needed it. I’m not the most organized person and I have to work hard at keeping my things in place. I’m a neat freak, but my drawers and closets tend to look like a bomb went off. Once these items are gone it is easier for me to be organized because there is less to manage.
I also think that when you get rid of things, it allows for more space to free up to possibly serve a new purpose. I often say that we don’t always need more space, but we need our space to function better. If you find yourself feeling tight in your home, it might be because you have too much stuff that is getting in the way. After clearing out some items we are left with only what we need/use. Then we can work on solutions so our home can function well.
Whenever I get rid of things, I feel so good. On the blog for this September, we are going to be focusing on getting organized and having our homes work for us. Before we can create a space and a place for everything that we need, there needs to be time spent clearing out the things that no longer serve us. When it comes to stuff, I really believe that less is more.